Red Sox: Home run hitting sluggers Boston should have signed
By Rick McNair
In 1959 Rocky Colavito won the American League home run title and was promptly traded. In an unusual swap, the Cleveland Indians acquired American League batting champion Harvey Kuenn from Detroit in the exchange.
One item of note with Colavito is his throwing arm. Colavito had an arm that I would certainly rate with that of Roberto Clemente, Carl Furillo, and Dwight Evans. Rocky even won a game late in his career for the Yankees by tossing 2.2 innings of shutout ball. But Colavito was paid to hit home runs and he did – especially at Fenway Park.
Colavito played 111 games at Fenway and had 392 at-bats. That translated to 26 home runs and 68 RBI. Colavito was never a high average hitter with a lifetime .266 average and hitting just .300 once in his career. At Fenway, it was a different story as his lifetimes average was .309 with a .961 OPS.
Colavito was traded after the 1963 season to Kansas City, where he hammered 34 home runs for the A’s. His reward was to be traded after one season back to Cleveland, where in 1965 he led the American League with 108 RBI. Maybe the Red Sox should have stepped in during that period and made an offer? Would have made a nice addition to Tony Conigliaro.